More than 50,000 to 100,000 people may contract the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) across Bangladesh by the end of this month, if the situations continue to grow worse, a senior official says citing public health experts’ reviews.
Public health experts reviewed the coronavirus infection situation in mid-April and placed their reviews for two phases, Director-General of Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) Prof Abul Kalam Azad told an inter-ministerial meeting on Saturday.
“The experts projected 48,000 to 50,000 cases from the coronavirus outbreak in first phase by the end o May even if the current level of infection continues,” Azad said.
“If the situation worsens, which experts say the second stage, the number of cases could double to 100,000,” he added.
As of Sunday, two more died from coronavirus in the last 24 hours, taking the death toll in the country to 177 with 9,455 confirmed cases.
Coronavirus, first reported in China in December last year, has infected over 3,484,000 people around the world and killed more than 244,000 people.
The World Health Organization declared the coronavirus crisis a pandemic on March 11.
Slow testing processes, mismanagement, and lack of awareness would cause such a large number of transmissions, health experts said.
Azad mentioned that currently, situations changed a bit with lockdown being a bit relaxed and steps being taken including the reopening of readymade garments factories.
Scope of testing was limited, which now rose to 31 labs with more than 6,000 samples being tested daily, Dr Azad said.
The infection will rise in the event of lockdown being relaxed, he warned.
Referring to the experts’ projection, physician Monirul Islam told the Bangladesh Post, “If it happens we are going to face catastrophe in public health.”
Those who are on the frontlines including physicians, police, journalists, delivery workers may share a significant portion of projected cases, he warned.
Detection, quarantine, maintaining hygiene guidelines and least physical distancing is must to prevent the spread of coronavirus, Islam said.
Former president of too doctors body Bangladesh Medical Association Professor Rashid-e-Mahboob, however, took on the health department as the latter has been talking about preparations over the past four months.
“What they really prepared should be made public. All they did is only briefing the media,” he said.
Professor Rashid-e-Mahboob said hospitals across the country have more than 1,000 intensive care unit (ICU) facilities that could be raised. Around 20 to 50 ICUs and ventilators could have been set up at each district hospital and upazila health complex.
“The government must pay attention to these issues,” he said.